Driving and traffic in Costa Rica

I have traveled to 19 countries in my 21 years of life and Costa Rica without a doubt takes the cake on the wildest driving ever! Here are 5 things I have noticed about traffic in Costa Rica:

  1. A double-yellow line does not equate to “no passing.” Rather, a double-yellow line is a road divider. If the driver does not appreciate how slow the vehicle in front is driving, said driver will pass on the double-yellow line. I have been in a bus and the bus driver has passed a car going too slow when there is a double-yellow line.
  2. Motorcyclists will weave in and out of traffic to get to the front of the waiting traffic line. Motorbikes are a popular vehicle of transportation in Costa Rica for their gas efficiency and for the ease of food delivery. I am amazed at how brave the drivers are when darting in and out of lines of cars. If I were to drive, I would be on edge and stressed trying to check my blind spot constantly.
  3. Slamming on the breaks or last-minute stops are a given. There has been more than one occasion where I have been in an Uber and needed to close my eyes to avoid watching the driver nearly hit someone.
  4. Stop signs or red lights are optional (sometimes). There have been many times where a car or two speeds through an intersection during a red light. For a pedestrian like me, this means look both ways before crossing the street MULTIPLE times.
  5. Is traffic stopped in front of you? Honk. Did someone cut you off? Honk. Is a person laying in the middle of the road (yes I have seen this happen while in Costa Rica)? Honk. When walking in Costa Rica, the honking of cars is a symphony because drivers honk at anything and everything whether their reason is legitimate or not.

I do not think I could ever drive in Costa Rica. Next time I complain about traffic in Indiana, I will remember how lucky I am that the “busy” or “chaotic” traffic does not even come close to Costa Rica.

Leave a positive impression,

Sydney xo

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